2015 Lawn Care Contracts

It’s 2015 and another lawn care maintenance season is just around the corner.

Though most of the country is still enjoying winter weather, many government agencies and large businesses are already thinking about securing lawn care companies to service their landscaping needs for the upcoming spring and summer mowing seasons. Contracts are often prepared during January and February. The first mowing schedule of these contracts often takes place in March.

So, what does this mean for your lawn care company? Well, it means that you should be bidding on these contracts right now. Successful bidding of a lawn care contract requires skills in estimating and negotiation. It also requires a smart business owner who knows how to read a Request-For-Bids. Pitfalls and loopholes in contracts can cost you thousands of dollars if you misunderstand the wording of the lawn care contract.

Our company has bid many contracts. From standard residential lawn care contracts to large multi-year government mowing contracts, we have become adept at successfully bidding contracts. We have add this knowledge to a special section in our Lawn Care Business program that deals specifically with bidding lawn care contracts. If you want to take your lawn care business to the next level, look at our Lawn Care Business program by clicking here:





Lawn Care Business Program

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Leaf Mountain – Leaf Raking for your Lawn Care Business

leaf raking business

Leaf Raking for your Lawn Care Business

Welcome to Leaf Mountain

With a few days to go before Christmas, many of your lawn care customers will be having Christmas parties and relatives over to visit. Because of this, they will want to have their lawn and landscaping tidied up one last time. This is a perfect opportunity for you to contact your customers to see if they need any yard work performed. You will probably be surprised how many customers will give you some extra work right before Christmas.

I paid a visit to the leaf dumping site our community public works department uses to dump all the leaves they collect from residential yards. The area fans out and is about 250′ wide X 200′ long. It is probably about 100′ deep. The leaves are left to decay. It looks like a leaf mountain. Our public works requires home owners to rake their leaves to the curb and not bag the leaves.

Lawn care customers pay good money this time of year to have their leaves cleaned up. So, if you own a lawn care business or if you are just looking to make extra money around the holidays. Leaf work can put great money in your pocket. Many lawn care companies do not know how to properly estimate leaf cleanup jobs. So, we have developed a special lawn care business tutorial and estimating software package.





Read more about it here: Start A Lawn Care Business

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Lawn Care Worker Killed

Hi Everyone:

I just want to share a story I read this morning about a lawn care equipment operator that was killed by a tractor trailer.

According to WITN.com news station, an employee of a lawn care operator contracted to mow along highway 64 was struck and killed by a tractor trailer. The driver of the tractor trailer was initially charged with reckless driving and other charges. The mower operator worked for a private contractor and was not employed by the Department of Transportation.

Lawn care business owners and equipment operators face many challenges and dangers on a daily basis. Though many dangers such as out of control tractor trailers are beyond the full scope of our control, there are many opportunities we can take advantage of to help ensure our well being.

One of the most effective safety practices, for lawn care operators that are working close to traffic, is to increase visibility. Whether mowing a small lawn close in a residential neighborhood or mowing on highway right of way, informing drivers of your presence is essential. Warning signs, high visibility vests, and even flashing lights will help make you apparent to motorists.

If you operate a lawn care business, please give safety your upmost attention.





For more information about operating your own lawn care business, take a look at our Lawn Care Business Guidebook and Software. Visit our main website page: [www.StartALawnCareBusiness.com]

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Lawn Care Business – Leaf Raking for November 2012

Well, October has passed and we are already well into November.

I am not sure where this year has gone but I do know where the leaves are going? They are collecting all over your customers’ lawns. It’s the time of year when lawn care business owners are busy making a TON of money by providing leaf raking and gutter cleaning services. Unless you are lucky enough to live in one of the warmer states, November and early December mark a final PUSH for lawn care business owners to make lots of cash before harsh winter weather arrives.

If you own a lawn care business or you just want to make money during this time of year, it is not too late to take advantage of leaf raking season. Your customers will pay you great money to rake their leaves and give their lawns a final spruce up before winter.

One problem we have seen is that many lawn care business owners do not know how much money to charge for leaf raking services. Our lawn care business guidebook and estimating software package has a special section dedicated to leaf raking. How to attract customers…how to estimate prices properly…how to perform leaf cleanup quickly and effectively.

For more information about our lawn care business course and to order the program directly from our website, please click the link above to be taken to the ordering page.

Best luck to you this leaf raking season. There are piles of cash to be made by raking piles of leaves.





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Leaf Raking Business – Last Week of September 2012

Autumn has arrived and has ushered in the Leaf Raking Season!

Though our daytime temperatures are still in the 80s and 90s, the nighttime mercury is dipping into the 50’s and 60’s. Autumn is here and in a few weeks fall colors will burst onto the scene. With those beautiful colors, leaf raking season will officially begin. Leaf raking season is a very profitable time of year for lawn care business owners.

If this is your first year running your own lawn care business and if you want to make lots of money between now and the end of the year, right now is when you need to be lining up customers for leaf cleanup.

We have found that there is often more money to be made between now and the end of the year than during the hot summer months. So, don’t neglect making the money you deserve right now with your lawn care business. The problem is; many new lawn care business owners do not know how much money to charge their lawn care customers when they are giving price estimates.

We have developed a comprehensive lawn care business (and leaf raking) strategy guidebook with estimating software to help you understand how to run your business right, get more customers, and price your leaf raking jobs so you can make more money.





For more information, visit our main website:

http://www.StartALawnCareBusiness.com

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Yellow Jackets and your Lawn Care Business

Hi Everyone, this is Keith with StartALawnCareBusiness.com

Bees and wasps are hazards to every lawn care business owner and late summer through Autumn is a time of increased bee and wasp activity. I found this nest in a lawn recently. It was very easy to see the yellow jackets flying to and from the nest so I decided to put a camera on a tripod. I was able to film them for a few minutes and they did not seem to notice I was there.

However, they eventually became annoyed and attacked my camera.

Yellow Jacket - Vespula Maculifrons

Yellow Jacket – Vespula Maculifrons

The yellow jackets in this video are most likely Eastern Yellow Jackets (Vespula maculifrons) from the order hymenoptera(1). They are highly territorial and will aggressively defend their nest when they feel threatened.

According to the National Institutes of Health, deaths attributable to Hymenoptera account for more than 79 fatalities per year in the United States(2). Though most stings can be remedied through treatment at home, up to 10 percent of stings result in more extreme reactions requiring elevated care(3). This statistic is especially concerning for lawn care business owners who spend their days on lawns and in flower beds where ground burrowing hymenoptera like to build their nests.

What is also concerning to lawn care business owners is that some hymenoptera, especially ground dwelling vespid wasps such as yellow jackets, are particularly sensitive to the vibrations of lawn mowers and string trimmers. Given that a typical colony of yellow jackets can contain from a few hundred to several thousand individual wasps(4) it behooves anyone operating a lawn mower or other lawn care equipment to remain vigilant during late summer and autumn months when yellow jacket populations swell and become most active.

Although annoying, yellow jackets are beneficial to our ecology. They kill flies as well as caterpillars and beetle larva(5) which do damage to ornamental and vegetable garden plants. Yellow Jackets are also adept at scavenging fallen fruits from trees. And, since they eat raw meat they help clean up road kill and other dead animals. So, due to their beneficial nature, unless a Yellow Jacket nest poses a threat to humans or pets, I normally leave it alone until winter time. The wasps die sometime after the first few frosts and I can then dig up and destroy the nests without fear of being stung.

If you find it necessary to destroy a yellow jacket nest in the duty of your lawn care business, think carefully about a few things.

1) If you apply any chemical to a customer’s lawn or landscaping in the course of your lawn care business you will likely require an applicator’s license(6). Now, I know a lot of people laugh at this advice. Many people operating their own lawn care companies think they can purchase an over the counter wasp and hornet spray and use it to kill yellow jackets in their customer’s lawns. You might get away with it, but, technically, in many states, you should have an applicator’s license before applying any chemicals including wasp spray.

2) If the pesticide control board catches you applying a pesticide without an applicator’s license, you will face a fine which can amount to several hundred dollars. I even know of one lawn care business operator that was fined $5,000 for applying a pesticide without an applicator’s license.

3) If someone is injured while you are applying a pesticide to a yellow jacket’s nest , you could be held responsible for their injuries.
Also, please don’t ever pour gasoline or any other unapproved chemical into the ground. I have seen videos and blogs where people talk about pouring gasoline into yellow jacket nests. We know better, these days, than to do things like that. It pollutes the ground and, from a business standpoint, it sets you up for criminal and civil charges if you are ever caught doing it.

If a nest must be removed, have your customer call a licensed pest control management company to perform the extraction.
Knowing that they are a threat, there are steps you can take to avoid the dangers of yellow jackets.

1) Ask your lawn care customers to inform you of any yellow jacket activity in their lawns.

2) Be observant. Watch for yellow jackets flying to and from their nests. You can often see yellow jacket activity long before your lawn mower disturbs them.

3) Mark nest sites with marker flags. You can avoid the nests during the late summer and fall active months and then come back in the winter to dig the nests up and destroy them once the yellow jacket have left their nest.

4) Wear long pants and other protective clothing.

5) Know your sensitivity to stings and carry an epipen if necessary.

One of the reasons many of us enter the lawn care business is our love of the outdoors and nature. Bees and wasps are simply part of the outdoors and they are some of the creatures sharing our earth. It is unfortunate that they are so territorial and sting so violently when they feel threatened. However, that is just their way of protecting themselves. They are not actively seeking people to sting(7). So, when you encounter yellow jacket nests, do your best to avoid contact and leave them alone and avoid getting stung. They will be gone when the weather cools. If you can’t avoid yellow jackets, use an Integrated Pest Management approach and try to do as little ecological damage as possible.

Once again, this is Keith with StartALawnCareBusiness.com. If you are thinking about starting your own lawn care business, we have developed a professional and comprehensive lawn care business strategy guidebook and estimating software program that will help you start and operate a successful lawn care business. You can learn more about this program and purchase it through our main website: http://www.StartALawnCareBusiness.com





(1) http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/occas/hornet_yellowjacket.htm
(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22656661
(3) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bee-stings/DS01067/METHOD=print
(4) http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-2284/F-7305webcolor.pdf
(5) http://espsciencetime.org/student_life.cfm?subpage=327295
(6) http://extension.osu.edu/news-releases/archives/2010/february/pesticide-application-training-being-offered
(7) http://gregsnaturalhistory.com/623/yellow-jackets-hummingbirds/

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Get Ready for Leaf Raking Season

Leaf Raking Season is Coming

Leaf Raking is Big Business

Make Money Raking Leaves This Year

Most years, we start thinking about leaf raking toward the middle of August. This year is different.

Much of the country has experienced substantial rainfall this year. Yet, with a looming dry August, we feel that preparations need to be underway early as the leaf fall could be greater than average once cooler temperatures arrive. Heavier than average leaf fall will mean a greater demand from lawn care customers desiring to have their yards raked and leaves removed or composted. This added demand for leaf raking services means big business and big money for lawn care companies that specialize in leaf removal.

Equipment preparation and early advertising is going to be important this year.

Proper pricing of your leaf removal jobs will also be important. Our company sees many lawn care business owners underestimate their leaf care jobs each year. They lose money because they do not know how to properly estimate their leaf raking contracts. Underestimating can costs a lawn care business owner thousands of dollars per year.

If you are considering adding leaf raking services to your lawn care company or if you are just thinking about starting a lawn care service and want to know how to get customers and make money raking leaves, we invite you to look at our lawn care business guidebook and estimating software. We have developed these resources after over 20 years in the lawn care industry.

The price is less than $50 and will allow you to become more profitable in your lawn care estimating.
Visit our main page [www.StartALawnCareBusiness.com] for complete ordering information.





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Lawn Care: Poison Ivy, Poison Sumac, & Poison Oak

I would like to thank our friend, Dawn Ginese (The Singing Nurse) for giving us tips to avoid and manage Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac. Even if you don’t own a lawn care business, these tips will help keep you “rash free” this summer.

 

5 steps to a Rash Free Summer
Dawn Ginese, RN

Don’t dampen your summer by getting itchy from Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac. My First hand experience says being prepared and knowledgeable is your best defense. I know, because I started my summer with the annoying itch. I discovered I had stepped on a bed of poison Ivy while dumping weeds from my flower beds in the woods. Applying these 5 simple steps will save you time, money and the itchy aggravation that Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac can cause.

1. Be prepared

with products in case you come in contact.

2. Know the enemy

by knowing what Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac look like.

3. Prevention

is important to being free from the itchy plant oils.

4. Actions to take

in the unlikely event you do come in contact.

5. Get help

from your health care professions if you need it.

Be Prepared: I suggest having all your products available and ready before you take your first step outside this season. Go to your local pharmacy or get word of mouth advice for choosing good products.

a. There are blocks available in lotion form that provides a barrier between you and the itchy plants.

b. Have available Long sleeves and pants and heavy gloves while working outdoors.

c. A variety of special soaps to wash off the poison ivy, oak or sumac oils are available at your local pharmacy.

d. Itch relief ointments and lotions like the standard calamine lotion are a must to have on hand. I used Aveeno baby oatmeal bath for itch relief, it worked great. Make sure you have an over the counter allergy medication in your arsenal as well.

Know the Enemy: Do a Google search on the internet of Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac. Go to “Images” for a variety of pictures to help you identify these plants. The plants do not all look the same although they do have common characteristics. Poison Ivy and Oak have leaves of 3(Remember the old rhyme, leaves of 3, don’t touch me.)and Sumac have 7 or 13 leaves. A picture is worth a look and will increase your sense of knowledge. There will also be plenty of rash pictures, a great reminder of the possibilities which will move you to action.

Prevention: Remember to use the products you have purchased. Wear the long sleeve shirts and pants and heavy gloves. Scan the area you will be working in and remove the plants with your heavy gloves. If you know you are allergic to Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac, call your lawn care professional to remove it.

Actions to take: Apply your itchy plant barriers before heading outside. Have some oil removing soap on you just in case you know you have touched a plant and wash immediately. Assume you will be in contact with these itchy plants. Always wash yourself with a Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac oil remover after working outdoors. Take a shower after working and wash all your clothes in hot water. Clean your tools and shoes with the special soap for removing poison ivy, oak and sumac oils. The oils from the plants can last for long periods of time always clean everything.

Get Help: If you have tried to rid yourself of that really annoying rash and it is persisting, please don’t be a hero, get help. I was starting to feel like I was wearing wool undergarment and I was not sleeping well. I went to my doctor and he prescribed prednisone. It is amazing how effective just a few days of medication provided such itchy relief. I was on prednisone for 15 days.

I’ve included a link to a nice flier you can print, a video on YouTube of my experience with Poison Ivy, and a fun set of lyrics to help you remember all that we’ve discussed today. Have some fun with it and please stay out of the Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac.

For a Healthy, Itch Free Summer,
Ms. Dawn, The Singing Nurse
www.TheSingingNurse.com

FDA PDF: Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/UCM143611.pdf

The Singing Nurse YouTube video retracing her itchy tracks:

Rap song fun, learning with music

Poison Ivy Oak and Sumac

Dawn Ginese, RN-The Singing Nurse 5/2012

Sing to a funky rap beat or
Clap your hands on your legs 2 x & clap hand together 2 x & say words

Poison Ivy Oak and Sumac are the itchy plants you see
If you see leaves of 3, don’t touch me, don’t touch me
Be prepared, wear gloves, use soap
Know the leaves so you can cope

If you see leaves of 3, don’t touch me, don’t touch me
If you get the itch real bad, Calamine might help egad
See your doctor, he’s the one, He will give you Prednisone
If you see leaves of 3, don’t touch me, don’t touch me

Poison Ivy Oak and Sumac are the itchy plants you see
If you see leaves of 3, don’t touch me, don’t touch me
If you see leaves of 3, don’t touch me, don’t touch me

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Lawn Care Business – Don’t Be Afraid to Start Small

Lawn Mower Man

Lawn Care Business? Don't Be Afraid to Start Small

Do you want to start a lawn care business but you’re afraid of starting too small?

I took this picture as I was stopped at a traffic light. Yes, it’s a funny picture but you have to admire that this guy is out there making an effort. He isn’t afraid of starting small.

No Money To Start A Lawn Care Business?

I received a call this morning from a man who wants to start a lawn care business but he simply doesn’t have much money and is afraid he won’t be able to compete with the guys with fancy mowers and lawn care trailers full of equipment. I often receive similar calls and I often offer the same advice:

“it doesn’t matter how small you start and how cheap your lawn care equipment is. If you work smart and price your jobs properly you will be able to grow your business quickly.”

We started our lawn care business in 1992 (20 years ago) with a $150 lawn mower purchased from Kmart, a Poulan Weedeater, and a handheld leaf blower. That weedeater was terrible but with this basic equipment we mowed hundreds of lawns in the first few months to earn enough money to buy commercial equipment. With commercial equipment we were able to begin bidding commercial contracts and within a few months were making great money and growing the business rapidly.

Professsional Lawn Care Business Guidebook and Software

During the past 20 years associated with the lawn care industry we have experienced practically every type of lawn care job you can think of. And, we have poured all of that information into the Lawn Care Business Guidebook and Software Package. This is a huge business course that will take you from the very beginnings of your lawn care business (business formation, buying equipment, advertising, gaining clients, setting prices) to the more complex problems (expanding your business, bidding large scale contracts, hiring employees). Practically everything you could ever want to know about running a successful lawn care business is included.

On Sale Now





The business program is less than $50 and you can learn more about it on our main website (click the link at the top of the page). We are always happy to help. So, if you have questions, just let us know.

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Lawn Care Business Customer List – Mid Summer Expansion

We dedicate a large portion of our lawn care business guidebook to the concept of building a highly profitable lawn care client list. You can learn how to turn your low profit customers into a highly profitable lawn care business customer list that will make you thousands more dollars between now and the end of the year.

Low Profit Lawn Care Customer List

If you operate a lawn care business, you probably know the relative ease of gaining customers through competitive (lowball) bidding practices and expensive advertising. While the strategy of lowball bidding and expensive advertising will build a large client list, it is probably not a desirable customer list. Unfortunately, many new lawn care companies fall into the trap during their first few months in business of acquiring low paying customers with difficult to manage lawn care needs.

Highly Profitable Lawn Care Customers

Now that summer is in full swing, it is time for you to weed out your low-profit customers and begin building a highly profitable customer list. By now, you have identified your good customers versus the ones that are barely making you any money for the amount of time and effort you spend on their lawns.

The questions you probably have are:

1) Should I drop low paying customers?

2) How can I attract higher paying customers?

We do not suggest you drop low paying customers as a first course of action? Instead, our lawn care business training course supports methods of increasing the amount of money your customers pay you each month. Increased rates and nominal services increased with higher profit margins will dramatically increase the amount of money each customer pays you. Yes, you might lose some customers. However, we have developed a solid customer psychology strategy to help you retain many, if not most, of your customers.

Lawn Care Business Training Guide

Higher paying lawn care customers can be attracted via careful marketing of your lawn care business. Again, our lawn care training guide teaches you how to specifically target higher paying customers and develop strategies to build a highly profitable list of high paying customers.

If you are languishing with low paying lawn care customers, take steps right now to increase the profit of each lawn care customer.





Visit our main website (click the “Start A Lawn Care Business” link at the top of this page) to learn more about our lawn care business training course.

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